This post is for Katie and Eric, so that they may always remember how much they love one another. So close in age, they have their moments of sibling squabbling—Eric’s favorite word is “Mine! Mine!” and he has been known lately to tell Katie, “My mama! My mama!”—yet they also have an unspeakable, sweet bond that I know nothing will ever undo. They truly share with one another more than they stake territory. Our favorite thing to do is to pile into Katie’s bed and read and cuddle and sing.

Before Eric was even created, I wondered how it could be possible to love a second child as much as I love my first. Could there ever be that much love inside of one person? Shortly before Bill and I made Eric, my mom said something very wise. She said that, not only would I love them equally as individuals, but my love would also extend to loving to watch them as siblings. I know now exactly what she means. Not only do I love Katie and Eric each separately, but also I love them as a pair.

To observe Katie and Eric together is to hear the universe singing its own song, through them. Several days ago, now, we were taking a morning walk together. Lately I have been letting Eric out of his stroller on the last stretch toward home, as he is better about listening to directions to stay on the sidewalk and to hold hands. This time, Katie offered to hold his hand, and he readily agreed. I stayed off to their side, basking in the sweetness of my babies hand-in-hand, walking together. Then Katie told her brother that she would always protect him. To have the privilege of hearing this loving, intimate promise astounds me. All of the magic in my whole life coalesced into that one moment. When they rounded the corner to that house, we found our first ladybug of the season in the grass, and the kiddos watched her together.

I am often reminded of the Aerosmith (written by Diane Warren) song “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” when I am with my babies and their father: “I could stay awake/Just to hear you breathing/Watch you smile while you are sleeping/While you’re far away and dreaming/I could spend my life in this sweet surrender/I could stay lost in this moment forever/Where every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure…” Wherever the three of them are, that is the place I most want to be.

My favorite time of night with my little ones is our bedtime routine. Eric has been acquiring more and more taste for a range of books—he loves The Berenstain Bears now—and we love to play and cuddle and read and sing right before bedtime. The kiddos always say good night to one another with hugs and kisses. The other night, Katie said, “Te amo, mi hermano. I had the best day with you. You are handsome, and may all your glowing dreams come true.” Sometimes, I just want to gobble them up in all of their sweetness!

We had a beautiful Easter together:

Easter morning: the kiddos had Easter pails, books, balls, and spring glasses at their dining room places. Sometimes Mrs. Easter Bunny hides their baskets, but I think she wanted to try something different this year and just hid plastic eggs filled with candy.

Katie and Eric dye their Easter eggs together.

Katie looks at her pinwheel. The kiddos each got his-and-hers of everything this year. So fun! They loved their Peter Rabbit chocolate bunnies!

This week we’ve been busily preparing for our France-inspired picnic with my BFF Rosa this Saturday. There may or may not be imported truffle mousse pate involved. Just saying. Plus several cheeses…maybe some dark chocolate with sea salt. Radishes and butter and French bread. Fruit galore. Capicola. Sopressata. And a few other surprises… Can’t wait!

The other major project I’ve been working on this week has been Katie’s application to one of the local charter schools. We’re a homeschooling family, and this charter school has a homeschooling option among its many programs. Enrollment in the school gives us 1) structure and a campus (one just down the street) in which to take optional enrichment courses twice a week; 2) access to field trips and scholarly competitions; 3) state money with which to purchase quality curriculum; 4) instructional support for me through the assignment of an Education Specialist, a credentialed teacher who serves as our liaison with state paperwork (always daunting) and who will help us purchase curriculum; 5) the option of transferring into the hybrid classroom/homeschool Classical Mind academy in future years. I welcome the structure and accountability that enrollment in this charter school will provide. As a teacher myself, I find the idea of having an actual campus affiliation quite appealing. When it comes time for grading, also, I think this route may provide us more legitimacy—especially if we homeschool into the high school years and are looking onward to university applications. I also welcome access to other credential elementary teachers, professionals who know the standards and curriculum. I am also excited for the state money, since this is a public charter, with which to purchase curriculum. Since there are no tax deductions for homeschoolers, and since we pay taxes to find state education, it makes sense to me to have access to that money for our own children—who otherwise would benefit from our tax money if they used classic public school resources.

The application has several steps, but we’re almost done. Our dentist completed the dental form today, and we have our pediatrician now working on our health form. We’re working on this fairly early—although the 2012/2013 school year apps are officially open—and I can’t WAIT to have her enrolled and all squared away and certain for next fall. We’ll meet with our admins soon after the application is reviewed, and hopefully that will give Bill and me plenty of time to pour over all of our curriculum options.

I love the possibility of Katie and Eric working through school together and letting that alliance only strengthen their bond. They are so sweet together, and it would make me sad to have to break them apart during the day next year were Katie to experience Kindergarten away from home. We will also preserve our freedom to visit Nana and other family during the week since homeschooling allows flexible study hours. We’re very excited!

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